Can I Clean My Retainer With Toothpaste

People who wear Retainers often ask their dentist, “Can I Clean My Retainer With Toothpaste”?

Well, having retainers can be a choice, but cleaning them is necessary. A retainer is a custom-made device that individuals can wear over their teeth to prevent them from relapsing. It is a helpful tool for individuals who have just got their teeth corrected. But just like we should focus on cleaning our teeth, it is important to maintain the cleanliness of our Retainers as well. Cleaning retainers is important to prevent plaque and bacteria buildup. But how do you clean your retainers?

A lot of individuals wonder whether they can clean their retainer with Toothpaste or not. Well, yes, even though when it is Ok to clean retainers with Toothpaste, the answer cannot be this straightforward. Toothpaste that is formulated using harsh chemicals and tough abrasives isn’t suitable for cleaning retainers.

They can, in Fact, damage the device. Also, it is very important to consult an orthodontist before cleaning your retainers with Toothpaste or any cleaning agent.

Join us to learn more about the same.

Can I Clean My Retainers using Toothpaste?

Yes, you can clean your retainers using Toothpaste as long as your Orthodontist suggests the same. There are certain toothpaste/ toothpaste brands specifically designed for retainer cleaning. The Toothpaste with the gentle formulation is best for cleaning Retainers and is even effective in removing plaque and bacteria. These toothpastes aren’t marketed for cleaning teeth but as a retainer or orthodontic appliance cleaning products.

Toothpaste that is meant for cleaning retainers usually comes in tablet form or another dissolvable form. These tablets dissolve well in water as they create a solution to clean retainers. Retainer cleaning toothpaste usually contains ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium bicarbonate, citric acid, etc. These ingredients effectively remove the buildup without leaving any damage on the retainers’ surface.

Can I Clean My Retainer With Toothpaste

Best Retainer Cleaning Toothpaste 2023

FoamBright Dual Aligner & Retainer Cleaner Foam Toothpaste

FoamBright Retainer Cleaner is an oral care product that offers peroxide-free cleaning for your retainers and Invisalign. It replaces traditional tablets and paste and can be used with Candid, Byte, denture whitener, and braces without a second thought.

Avistar Retainer & Denture Cleaner Tablets

Another popular retainer and denture cleaner, Avistar, comes in the form of tablets. This pack of 150 tablets is ideal for cleaning mouth guards, retainers, night guards, and dentures. Its formulation is gentle yet effective in removing all the buildup without leaving any damage behind.

Retainer Cleaner Tablets Bath Remove Odors Discoloration Stains and Plaque

This retainer cleaner from M3 Naturals is one of the best in the range. These tablets leave the retainer smelling clean and fresh by removing odors, discoloration, stains, and plaque buildup. The product is absolutely safe and natural and is made with cruelty-free ingredients.

Retainer Brite Tablets for Cleaner Retainers and Dental Appliances

This popular cleaning product works for cleaning retainers and a range of other dental appliances. The tablets are formulated with actives, including sodium bicarbonate and citric acid, that effectively remove buildup while being gentle on the retainer surface.

Efferdent Retainer Cleaning Tablets, Denture Cleaning Tablets for Dental Appliances

The Efferdent retainer cleaning tablets dissolve in water and quickly clean your dental appliances. They eliminate odor-causing bacteria and remove tough stains. However, the formulation remains gentle on the surface of retainers and helps in prolonging their life span.

  • Smilesaver Retainer Cleaner – Freshening Spray Cleanser for Aligners

This easy and convenient solution comes inside a spray bottle. With no scrubbing and rinsing, the user needs to simply spray it and let the formula work. Just allow it to dry before using it again, and it will provide up to 30 days of cleaning.

PLEASE NOTE: Consult your dentist or Orthodontist before using any of the products mentioned above.

Can I Clean My Retainer Using Regular Teeth Cleaning Toothpaste?

No, it is generally not recommended to clean retainers using your regular Toothpaste. The Toothpaste we use in our day-to-day routine is generally harsh and full of abrasive compounds. While the abrasiveness of Toothpaste helps in cleaning teeth’ surface, it can be harsh and even damaging for retainers.

The toothpaste or toothpaste tablets that are designed to clean retainers usually have a gentle formulation. Therefore, it is advisable not to use your regular Toothpaste for cleaning. Instead, you can follow a range of other remedies or commercial products, for that matter.

5 Effective Methods of Cleaning Retainers at Home

Here are five effective methods for cleaning your retainers:

  1. Water and Gentle Soap Solution: In a glass bowl, mix lukewarm water and some gentle liquid soap. Allow your retainers to soak in them for a few minutes. Later, remove the retainers, scrub them gently using a soft brush, and rinse well.
  2. Baking Soda: Baking Soda is an all-purpose disinfectant that can prove handy for cleaning retainers. It controls bacteria without harsh chemicals. Not just that bus using Baking Soda can also prevent a retainer from developing pH imbalances. To use the same, take half Baking Soda and half water to form a paste. The mixture should be in a semi-liquid form, thick enough to be applied on retainers. Apply the mixture to retainers, gently scrub it and rinse it off. Be gentle since the abrasiveness in Baking Soda can leave damage on your retainers.
  3. White Vinegar: White vinegar is a gentle disinfectant and an effective natural cleaning agent. For using it to clean retainers, take equal parts water and white vinegar in a bowl. Now soak your retainers for 10 to 15 minutes and later rinse them well.
  4. Hydrogen Peroxide: Take equal parts of water and hydrogen peroxide in a bowl. Now soak your retainers for 10 to 15 minutes and later rinse them well.
  5. Castile soap: Take a small amount of Castile soap and mix it with warm water. Now dip your retainers in it for 5 minutes before you begin scrubbing with a soft brush. Again let the retainer soak for another 2 to 3 minutes and scrub again. Later rinse it well with water.

How Often Should I Clean My Retainers?

It is important/ advisable to clean retainers at least once a day with your regular teeth cleaning schedule. Cleaning retainers every day is essential to ensure that the device remains plaque and bacteria-free. Besides washing your retainers daily, it is also important to deep-clean your retainers every 2 days a week.

Remember, everything that is going into your mouth and is leaving a build-up on your teeth is doing the same on your retainers. Therefore as often as your teeth need cleaning, your retainers are as well.

Ultrasonic Cleaner for Cleaning Retainers- Is it better than Toothpaste?

An ultrasonic cleaner is a device that uses sound waves to remove debris and bacteria from the surface of the retainer. It is an effective tool for cleaning retainers, especially for hard-to-reach areas. While Toothpaste can only clean the surface of the retainer, an Ultrasonic cleaner will effectively remove all the bacteria and plaque buildup.

However, despite their effectiveness, Ultrasonic Cleaner should be included for routine retainer cleaning. Using it once a week is safe and effective. Whereas for day-to-day cleaning, use a gentle retainer cleaning solution or gentle soap and warm water.

Retainer Cleaning Myth

  • Myth: Boiling water can be used to clean retainers.
  • Fact: Well, No. Ideally, warm water should be used to clean retainers since boiling water can cause the retainer to warp or distort. The high temperature of boiling water can damage the plastic or metal part of the retainer, rendering it ineffective.
  • Myth: Bleach is a good cleaner for retainers.
  • Fact: Bleach is harsh, and it can weaken the structure of retainers. In addition, bleach can also lead to discoloration in retainers.
  • Myth: Toothpaste is a good cleaner for retainers.
  • Fact: Toothpaste is generally abrasive, and using them for cleaning retainers can leave scratches on the surface.
  • Myth: Cleaning retainers with alcohol is effective.
  • Fact: Using alcohol to clean retainers regularly isn’t a great idea at all. Alcohol can actually dry out the retainer and cause it to crack or warp over time.
  • Myth: Retainers don’t need to be cleaned as frequently as teeth.
  • Fact: Retainers develop a buildup of bacteria and plaque as often as Toothpaste, and therefore they need cleaning every day.

Tips for cleaning your removable retainers

  • Clean your retainers every day without fail to remove bacteria, plaque, and debris. Ideally, clean your retainers the same time you brush your teeth.
  • Every time you eat or drink something, rinse your retainers with lukewarm water to remove any food particles or residue.
  • Whenever you are not wearing your retainers, store them in a clean, dry case to prevent bacteria and debris build-up.
  • Do not use boiling hot water for cleaning retainers.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals on a regular basis while cleaning your retainers. Do not use agents like Baking Soda and Vinegar very often.
  • Soaking your retainers in a cleaning solution or water makes the cleaning process easy.
  • Clean your retainer case regularly as well.
  • Don’t brush your retainers harshly.
  • Avoid leaving your retainers in direct sunlight or heat as it can cause warping or discoloration.

Wrapping up…

All in all, Toothpaste isn’t the most suitable option for cleaning retainers. Instead, you can use specialized retainer cleaning products, such as tablets and solutions. Or, invest in an Ultrasonic retainer cleaning device for ease. However, no matter what DIY or commercial product you are using to clean your retainers, consult your Orthodontist first. Ensuring that your practice is safe is very important.

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